Thursday, September 27, 2007

In a Fog

Me... not the weather. I wish it was the weather, then I could wear my new sweater which I am still gazing at lovingly, but unable to wear. But no, it's me. Oh, but speaking of the sweater, I want to say thank you all so much for your kind words! You made it extra special! I mean, sure the 6 carriers of testosterone in this house have learned how to expressively raise their eyebrows and say, "Wow, that's great." But their platitudes are, well, just that.

Back to me... I'm in the fog of a blossoming head cold (with a touch of stress) which is leaving me just a bit out of sync... but not too out of touch to recognize a sale that needs my attention. I had 45 minutes between picking up kids from classes so I made just a little quick gadget trip to the LYS. I ordered some yarn for Eunny Jang's Anemoi Mittens (because you know I'm hurtin' for mittens out here) and I was hoping to get one of those little finger gadgets that help you work with 2 colors at a time. See, it was a harmless litle $2.50 visit. (However, since they didn't carry said gadget, I will now need to order it from Knit Picks... which means that I will have to try out their new Harmony needles... but not, not the Cotlin... I won't buy the Cotlin!)

However, when I stepped through the door, I could barely more forward because of the piles, literal piles, of yarn stacked for sale. And not just old fun fur or cheap wool, but Jaeger Extra Fine Merino and RYC Cashsoft DK. Cashsoft is one of my favorite yarns, I don't have much in the way of DK, and it was 40% off. I don't really need to go on do I?

So a bag of yarn later I was off to pick up the next 2 children in my carpool when one of my sons observed that we only had one seat left in the car. Oh yeah, I was originally planning on using the extra time to drop a couple of kids off with my visiting dad before returning to pick up more. Oops. So I had to recruit the help of another mom to get all of my carpool kids home. (The fog had apparently cleared only long enough for me to pick out a color of yarn... which I chose in an attempt to match some sock yarns I recently purchased, so it would seem that the it was only partially cleared.)

Next... and this was the best part... I came home to Ravelry where I spent the next hmdfne or so browsing everything that had been knit with Cashsoft DK. I think I'm going to try Norah Gaughan's Turbulence U-Neck Pullover from Knitting Nature. (Have I mentioned how much I love Ravelry?) But I'm still open to suggestions so if you have any great ideas, please let me know!

Meanwhile, I am trying out this Aspen Top-Down Sweater that I picked up yarn for the other day. (Shhhh... I'm feeling a bit glutonous again.) So far I'm just not sure. Realistically, I know that I will never look like the model in a sweater like this. No, bulky sweaters are for thin gals... and while I may be slim for the most part, my belly that has not recovered from bearing 5 children tends to pooch a bit more than I like. So besides being too bulky for 98% of our weather, it will no doubt make my poochy baby belly bulkier... and that is not a pretty picture. No, definitely not.

But my better judgement does not seem to be doing the trick this time so I'm trying out at least the first ball leaving me time to return the rest when I come to my senses realize it might not be all that I dreamed.

Oh, and lost in the fog is Mr. Greenjeans for which my wonderful green Malabrigo is wound and ready to go... yet it sits. But not alone... no, it sits with Juliet... in the fog.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Maybe It's Lupus"

Well, well... what did you all think?

I especially enjoyed the House vs. Wilson exchanges. Wilson really got a chance to step it up. And Dr. Buffer was a crack up.

But... I missed his team terribly. Can he survive without them? For how long?

Maximum Love, Minimal Sweater

I am really excited about this sweater!

Minimalist Cardigan
Interweave - Fall 2007
Karabella Aurora 8
Knit Picks Options - size 7 circulars

It was a pretty quick knit. I am very pleased with the texture of the moss stitch and surprisingly enjoyed knitting it as well. Seaming the moss stitch was a little more challenging at first but then I just ended up putting right sides together and doing some simple, quick and dirty seaming that ended up working just fine since the moss stitch lacks definition on the edges.

The Karabella is wonderful to knit with and I think this will be a perfect weight sweater for our climate. I imagine I'll get a lot of use out of it.

As for the blocking that I was impatiently struggling with... I ended up tossing it in the dryer. This could've been a disaster but it came out great. (I started with one sleeve and dried it a bit at a time first.)

Now I must attempt to get things in order for my father's arrival tomorrow night. You know, things like grocery shopping, laundry, de-cluttering under and around the bed he's going to sleep in, and properly sorting the silverware and kitchen drawers where my boys tend to dump stuff as they unload the dishwasher. I suppose I could've done all this over the weekend when we weren't trying to get schoolwork done too. But I was so busy with all the football, knitting and napping that I just didn't have time. Oh, and I went to church too. Busy, busy I tell you!

Monday, September 24, 2007

When (Kn)It Masters You

One of my favorite Bible verses is in Genesis. It's in chapter 4 when God is talking to Cain about his anger at Able and the importance of doing what is right. He follows with, "But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

I think what fascinates me about this verse is the concept of sin as alive... crouching, waiting, desiring to "have" me. It's a powerful image and can also be a hard concept to grasp. I've discussed this verse several times with my boys, usually using something they can relate to for comparison. For example, after we saw The Lord of the Rings, we talked about the power of the ring, of evil, and it's desire to own the bearer's soul. The strength Frodo had to summon to overcome the weight of the ring... to master it.... etc., etc.

Now, the only reason I share this, is because this verse, this concept, came alive and bolted through my entire being last night as I sat here trying to kitchener stitch the back neckband on my Minimalist Cardigan just one. more. time.

I pulled it out around 10:00 last night just to weave in a few last ends before washing and blocking it today. I had already seamed the shoulders and grafted the neckline (don't ask why I did this before blocking) but I noticed that the kitchener I did was lame... no kitchener at all really, just a bumpy seam. This would never do. No. I should frog and re-seam. Again. Hmmm... okay one more time. Now the whole time I'm thinking, "If this doesn't work, I'm going to bed and saving it for tomorrow. There's no way this thing is keeping me up all night! No, I'm going to win." As this continued, it soon eventually finally painfully became clear that the sweater, in no uncertain terms, had me.

I finally got the kitchener looking good and finished up the seam only to realize that the first 4 or 5 stitches were bumpy. No biggy, I have long hair... no one will ever see. But I couldn't stop thinking about the person sitting behind me in church staring at the bumpy seam. No matter how much I tried to get past this image, it was useless. I had to get it right and it would only take one more time.

Anyway, while I may have eventually mastered the kitchener stitch, I also learned that a kitchener stitch done with unraveling yarn in the wee morning hours is going to come with it's own set of problems... so I guess we'll just have to call this one a tie (not counting loss of sleep or sanity on my part).

On to blocking... I don't think I've actually blocked that many things in the past. I have a nice blocking board and know I've used it a few times... but I don't recall a similar experience to this before. I put my cardigan in the basin with some Soak, hoping it would block out a wee bit since it threatened to be a bit small. (I'm not one to measure as I go... nah, I just knit a mini-swatch and go for it.) After the suggested 15 minutes I pulled out wet, limp cardigan pieces that was stretching out by inches in every direction. Trying to reserve the welling panic for any potential final disaster, I carefully squished the pieces into the appropriate measurements (but couldn't help recall that stretching not squishing had always been a part of this process before).

Clinging to hope, I left it to dry avoiding the knowledge that the time required for it to dry was going to undoubtedly exceed my limits on patience. I returned after a few hours of schooling... still not panicking since I know that I possess the ultimate weapon of victory in the laundry room (or more technically, the garage) sitting right next to my washer and if the sweater chooses not to return to its designated size, I will not hold back. In the meanwhile I gave it some drying assistance with my hairdryer. (I can be quite resourceful when necessary.)

It still seem limp... but it's also still damp. Is this normal? Will it fluff back to life upon drying completely? The yarn is Karabella Aurora 8 superwash merino. Did I Soak all the life out of it? I asked Julie, the only person I know who has used this yarn, but she was unable to advise me. Go ahead ask her why. Oy.

On a side note, things are off to a much better start this week. In order to assert his teenage right of timely arrival for school (hee hee hee I'm still laughing about Friday), 15 yo was extra careful to double check his alarm last night but apparently accidentally reset the time. He was up, showered and ready to go by 2:45 AM before he realized it was still pretty dark out. We're hoping the whole sports thing pans out for him.

And me... I was fortunate that my calendar had fallen to the ground because when I bent over to pick it up at 7:38 this morning, I caught sight of a doctor's appointment I had at 8:00 across town. Yep... it's a whole new week.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Mornings are always crazy around here. The vision of 5 boys (or 4 now that my oldest is off to school pretty early) managing to awaken and peacefully interact upon rising has yet to visit this house. I have tried countless interventions to bring some moderation to the energy they greet the day with but have only found limited success. I'm usually up before they are so I can greet the insanity vertically instead of horizontally. Then as they come to life, I try to gently scoot them towards breakfast and give them some time to unwind before I expect too much from them. During this time, I either (a) follow them around, kindly (okay not unkindly) directing them from task to task or (b) escape to Starbucks while they sow their little wild oats. I personally find (b) much more satisfying... as I can't even hear them from the local Starbucks.

This morning was different however. The house was quiet. Three had spent the night at Grandma's, so around 9:30 I dragged my 13 yo out of bed and we went to pick them up. Two of them had a doctor's appt. so I took 2 to the doc and left 2 at my moms.

At 10:45, I'm standing next to the doc and my phone rings. It's my high school student calling from his cell phone with a frantic, "Where are you??"

"At the doctors... what's wrong?"

"I'm at home."

"Why did you come home.. what happened?"

"Nobody woke me up! I need you to take me to school!!"

This would pretty much sum up my week. Between doctor's appointments, vet visits, bomb threats, and football games, I feel like we've struggled to just cover our basics at home... but at least we had all made it to "school" each day. But today offered proof that my kids are doing no worse at home than they would be if I actually tried to send them all to school.

Feeling a little bit done in by the time we finally got home, I gave the boys some chores and let them play some (educational) games.

My Juliet is coming along and I think I'm really going to like it although the doubled Silky Tweed is starting to get a bit hard on my hands. So I made a quick trip to the LYS where I snagged a bag of GGH Aspen to make the above sweater from Knitting Classic Style... because, well, shoot... we'll just blame it on the bomb threat?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Greetings from Far Away

While I was still here in So Cal singing the I Missed the Yarn Harlot Blues... Stephanie had travelled all the way across the country to the east coast where my blogging buddy Becca had the pleasure of seeing her in person yesterday.

In a tremendous display of understanding and friendship, Becca snapped this...

How cool is that? Whoever said a picture is worth a thousand words was right!

Thanks Becca!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Could It be Autumn?

Following my summer frenzy of knitting wool socks, I was delighted that the weather cooled off enough this afternoon that I was actually able to enjoy a pair at my son's football game. You'll have to excuse the picture, but it's very hard to stealthily snap a picture of your socks during a sporting event.

There is so little that we can look forward to as the seasons change around here that I'm excited to find something new to signal the change.

As I mentioned, I cast on for Juliet on a bit of a whim... but I think I'm really going to like it. The doubled Silky Tweed knits up real nice and squishy, and it looks like its' going to be a good fit. I just hope I have enough yarn. I really hate learning lessons the hard way!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Don't Forget the Knitting!

Today I discovered another one of the many things that public schools have that we can't duplicate at home... bomb threats. Well, I guess we could... but I scoot 5 boys out of the house with a shrill voice on a regular basis. And while it's not always easy, it doesn't even begin to compare to the experience of evacuating 2500 kids from the local high school at 10:00 AM. It is definitely an event that my son and I will both remember.

Actually, I thought the school handled it extremely efficiently. They had moved the students to the football stadium and had a system for releasing them one at a time to an approved emergency contact from their registration card. But these things definitely take time... lots of time... and no amount of efficiency can release a few thousand teens into the community in a speedy manner.

So, in case you are ever faced with such an emergency, here's my advice to you ... you will want to bring both your knitting and your camera. Because not only will you want pictures of this quite overwhelming process, you will want something to keep you busy while you sit on the bleachers for the next hour and a half waiting for your child. Remember... this is an emergency! It is no time to worry about flashing those needles in public!

I also recommend that you keep your cell phone battery charged at all times. You really don't want it dying at a time like this. You will want it to call all of your friends to tell them what you are doing (especially if you've forgotten your knitting)... and you want to be able to talk to your child who is sitting across the field from you... especially if you begin to think for a moment there might really be a bomb. Then you can call him and tell him to run like crazy for the back fence and get the heck out of there! Just saying.

Thankfully it turned out to be a prank... as I think everyone expected all along because while the air was full of frustration and mumblings of inconvenience, there was most notably a complete absence of fear... which, in itself, was a bit unnerving when I thought about it. Was there a time when a bomb threat would have struck fear in the hearts of everyone around?

Anyway, Bailey is on the mend but is being subjected to the funnel to keep from messing with her foot. She doesn't like this at all. And I decided to give Juliet a try with some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed from my stash. I have no idea if this will "work" on me or not... but it seemed like a good day to try something new.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Blogger Goes Green

Did you watch the Emmy's last night? I did. It's the one night of the year when I realize that I don't watch nearly as much TV as I thought I did. It was okay overall... there were some funny moments (Ellen Degeneres and Steve Carrell alone can make it worth the while), and I was glad that the Sopranos didn't take a clean sweep of the awards (nothing personal... I've just never seen the show and find it boring to watch it win for everything), but clearly they made a huge mistake with the award for Best Actor in a Drama Series (but it's okay Hugh... only 8 more days).

Of course, in following the new standard of political correctness, the producers of the Emmy's decided to "go green" with the show. Now don't get me wrong... I love the color green. Really. It's probably my favorite of the colors. Half of my clothes are green, at least half my yarn, and even my carpet is green. (Although if a carpet is green and nothing was recycled to produce it, is it still green? Descartes can rest in peace knowing he didn't have to struggle with that one.)

Seriously though, I like many of the "green" ideas... and I'm not opposed to the concept of "going green" (although I am slightly more opposed to bandwagons and slick, overused catch phrases). I very much agree that we need to be more aware of how we can make less of an impact on our environment. However, I find it hard to reconcile the whole green concept with the elaborate gatherings of entertainers to celebrate their achievements and contributions to society. I mean, sure, I suppose those solar panels provided enough power for at least a couple of the cameras on the red carpet (whew!), but wouldn't it be more efficient to just buy a good steam cleaner and re-use the same red carpet each year than to recycle bottle caps? After all, I would think it would take a significant amount of power to produce carpet from bottle caps. No?

Oh well, I know it's all in the interest of public awareness (which is good) but it still makes me roll my eyes. I thought the few minutes with Jon Stewart and the Colbert guy said it all. They were a crack up.

Anyway, I've finished the back and fronts of my Minimalist cardigan. Last night I cast on for the two sleeves. It's the first time I've knit two sleeves at once and was grateful to come across the suggestion of pinning them together so I'd remember to go all the way across.

Now I must go sort my trash for any boxes or cans we may have accidentally thrown away so they can be properly recycled. Hey, maybe someday Hugh Laurie (or Dr. Gregory House as I really prefer to think of him) will walk on one of my plastic bottles! (What? A gal can dream can't she?)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Today (aka the Day I didn't see the Yarn Harlot)

While I sit here waiting to hear what a fabulous time was had by all those who were fortunate to see the Yarn Harlot today, I thought I'd follow up on a post at Yarnhog's site regarding our knitting spots.

I definitely do have a knitting spot... it's actually more like a life spot because I try as hard as I can to do as much as possible from this spot. So I not only knit here, I also read, watch TV, teach, sometimes eat, and do just about anything else that can be done sitting down here. Nobody else sits here. It is my spot... and although I sadly seem to evoke very little fear in my children, they are always quick to jump up if they happen to be sitting in my spot when I enter the room.

Now I warn you... it is not a glamorous spot. We live in a small, and therefore, very cluttered house. But this is my little sanctuary.

In order to be as true to reality as possible, I have allowed myself to be photographed at my most comfortable best. For extra comfort, my seat reclines and my laptop sits at my fingertips for the many internet emergencies that come up during the day. It is my laptop's spot. Nobody sits here either. Sitting here is a privilege reserved only for school lessons and snuggling times.

Here is where I like to keep all of my important stuff...

I feel it is very important to keep everything I might need at my fingertips as my overall goal is to move as little possible throughout the day. My basket holds all my knitting necessities, my current WIPs, my near future WIPs, and any recent yarn purchases so I can fondle and gaze at them lovingly for a few days before they officially become "stash".

I also like to have all my knitting magazines and pattern books handy in case I feel the need to stare at them once again. The book collection has actually been recently thinned out since I cleared a shelf in the entertainment center for them. It's a small room so they still aren't too far away. I also use this spot for any books I'm reading... or might read soon... and for my Bible(s) as I find myself in frequent need of these during the day to remind me that children are a blessing from the Lord and such other important words of wisdom.

Oh, and the fireplace... we don't use it (obviously). The necessity of cramming enough furniture to seat 7 people and a big screen TV into a 12'x15' room overrode the need for a fireplace.

Now the next couple of photos are for Suzanne. Keep in mind that I live in a house of 5 overly active boys who never simply sit down on a piece of furniture without a leap or a flop... boys who use the couches for jumping, wrestling, and sleeping as much as they use them for sitting. Our furniture has held up remarkably well with almost no sign of wear and tear from their constant abuse. Except for this one spot...

Do you recognize it?

Yep... it is my spot... nobody jumps here... nor wrestles... nor climbs. It's just me and my stuff here. (See Suzanne, we're not talking wearing thin or looking worn. No, we're talking big ol' freakin' hole.)

Since it's illogical to think that simply sitting could cause such damage I like to think of it as a sign of all of the up-and-down I do during the day... moving laundry, finding school books, picking up Power Rangers or Legos (again), cleaning up spilt milk (again), and all those other things we mothers busy our days with. Surely it's the friction of my active lifestyle that has worn the hole in my couch. Surely.

In other news, today was JoJo's birthday!! (Which was the other reason I wasn't willing to "risk" a trip into Los Angeles for just a shot at seeing TYH.) And as you can see, it was a busy, busy day...

Real busy...
I would have been sorely missed.

Oh, and Daniel got a new hat. He picked it out himself and has worn it non-stop since yesterday, and even to a swim party tonight. He is nothing if not unique.

Now I am off to watch more House. I just got season 2 on sale from Amazon, so I figured a second time through would keep me busy until season 4 starts. Yep, I like to stay busy here in my spot.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Yarn Harlot's Eve... Not

Before I can even speak of anything else, I must start this post... this special Yarn Harlot's Eve post... but sharing my grief at, once again, being a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to acting on significant news. A few weeks ago, I noticed mention of a stop in L.A. on the Yarn Harlot's blog. I quickly checked her touring site for details... jumped up and down in enthusiasm... blogged about it... and e-mailed a few friends. Then I proceeded to wait 24 hours before calling for reservations. (See random fact #7 below... I am a major procrastinator... with a minor phone phobia.)

I am 10th on the waiting list. TENTH. 290 people have reservations and there are probably about that many behind me on the list. The Library where she is speaking has actually taken all the info regarding her appearance off their website because of the massive influx of phone calls they experienced. I can't even find out at this point if, by some remote chance, 10 people have cancelled.

Now, I could go down there and take my chances. I could arrive early and wait around 'til the last minute in hopes of 10 flaky knitters not showing... but yeah, like that's gonna happen. Actually, I would totally take the chance... even if it was only to meet a few of my blogging friends... but DH has to work tomorrow and I really can't ask him to take the afternoon off because I might get to see Stephanie if I get lucky. Just doesn't seem reasonable.

So... if anyone reading this gets to see her tomorrow... and if you get to speak to her... would you please, please tell her that Tammy says "Hi"? She will have absolutely no clue who I am... but knowing that my name was said in conversation with her will make me feel like somehow I was involved, 'kay?

Moving on... Have you all seen the new Knitty? I love it when a new Knitty comes out... and I really like a few of the patterns featured. I like several sweaters including Roam and Neiman. I also think the Back-to-Basics socks look like something I'll need to try. But this one... this one is an absolute must for me...
I've been looking for an excuse a sweater to knit with Malabrigo for the longest time and I think that Mr. Greenjeans will be the perfect pattern. As a matter of fact, I was at the LYS within hours of seeing this Knitty picking out just the right color. I had some yarn to return so the financial impact was minimal and I can't wait to start. But I will. I will get my Minimalist done first. Hey, I've held out for 24 hours already! (I didn't mention my lack of patience and/or self-control in my random facts did I? No? Good. Forget I mentioned it.)

Now I will go back to not thinking about the fact that I will not be in the presence of her Harlotness herself tomorrow. And don't forget to tell her I said HI!

And the Winner Is....

Life finally slowed down enough for us to take a few minutes to draw a winner for my contest. First off I really enjoyed your comments and found great comfort in knowing that so many of you share the same struggles as me. I could pretty much ditto everything you said.

Anyway, after some swift negotiating, the Wy-Guy won the opportunity to pick the name... and the winner is...

Dana - Send me an e-mail with your address and I'll get the book out to you.

I want to say thank you to everyone for participating! I'll try to get a real post in later as I do have a couple of things to share but this one was delayed so I didn't want to wait any longer.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just Another Day

Do you suppose there's an acceptable amount of time that a mother of 5 can spend knitting and watching a DVD of old Monkees episodes on a Tuesday afternoon while her husband is laboring hard to support the said family of seven? If there is, I'm guessing it's gotta be some where between 0 and 15 minutes. But that's just a guess.

But what if you're trying to keep the house quiet because you have a 8 year old with a fever and a dog recovering from foot surgery? Does that at least provide for more reasonable conditions? Or at least sound like a decent excuse?

What if you're knitting Monkeys while you watch the Monkees?

I gave it a really good shot but a strange feeling came over me... I think it was guilt... but I'm not entirely sure because I'm usually pretty good at ignoring guilt. At any rate, I was unable to avoid the guilt so I got up and attended to a few long neglected household tasks instead. But not to worry, I didn't go nuts or anything... there are still plenty of long neglected tasks for me to avoid.

The Monkeys are all that I'd heard they would be... addicting, amusing, and fun. (The Monkees were amusing as well, but maybe not quite so much as I remembered.)

But what I really wanted to point out, was the pink bandage on Bailey's back leg. The surgery was on her front foot. This here on her back foot is a pain patch. It's basically like a nicotine patch only it's dispensing narcotics for the pain.

As I stood there with the vet, all I could think was, "Dr. House would be so all over this thing!" I'm thinking he would hire me if I showed him one of these bad boys. Yeah, I know... I'm not actually a doctor... but with all those painkillers in him he may not notice.

Monday, September 10, 2007

8 Random Facts & Minimalist Tip

Thanks Donna for tagging me with the following Meme! I think being tagged is terribly fun although I have no idea what to say when I am. How do I come up with 8 random facts? How do I stop at 8?

Being a bit obsessive (which is not at all a random fact but probably general knowledge by now), I have struggled with this all day. Since I also struggle with blank-mind syndrome when put on the spot, I've decided just to ramble off the first things that come to mind...

8 Random Facts...

1. I refuse to ask for directions or the location of a product in the grocery store. I will search hopefully for a ridiculous amount of time.

2. If I do ask for directions, I will forget them and be lost again almost immediately anyway.

3. I flunked out of my first year of college. (Hey, it was UC Santa Barbara, I was distracted. I later graduated from CSUN.)

4. Movie scenes with people singing in cars always crack me up. (Think Tommy Boy, Corky Romano, Vacation, etc. Don't know why, but it gets me everytime.)

5. I met my husband while stopped at a red light 20 years ago. He was a passenger in the car next to me.

6. I love public speaking (but struggle horribly with one-on-one small talk).

7. I am a major procrastinator.

8. I will think of at least 3 more interesting things I should've posted instead as soon as I hit "Publish" and it will drive me crazy all night.


BTW - Yesterday's plan was a success! The Minimalist back is complete, I've cast on for the front and even managed to find some complementary sock yarn in my stash. To top it off, I even got the laundry done today... because after all, it's perfectly acceptable to do laundry on a school day, but knitting like crazy all day... not so much.

My tip... When I started the front of the cardigan the bottom rolled up horribly. Like this...

I was concerned at first and spent some time searching Ravelry and the web. I saw that some people had added ribbing and some had switched the stitch pattern, but being one who needs to make mistakes for myself in order to learn, I proceeded with the pattern as written.

Now, I don't know what the final result will be, but I can tell you that as the piece grew longer the urge of the stockinette to curl in overcame it's desire to curl up, so the bottom does lay flat now... well, at least it's curling in instead of up.


Now, as for tagging... how about...

Octopus Knits

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Mystery Moths

We have been haunted around here for some time (actually a bit longer than I'd care to admit) by one of the scariest pests known to knitters... moths. Prior to my commitment to cram as much wool as possible into as many bins and drawers I could store, we have never seen anything other than the occasional moth drawn in by a light bulb... so clearly this has had me a bit concerned. However, repeated searches through my yarn revealed nothing... and they didn't seem to come flitting out of my yarn drawers when I opened them. No, as a matter of fact... they seemed to be much more likely to be found in the kitchen. Hmmm....

Since my yarn didn't seem to be in any immediate danger, I continued to be puzzled but was able to ignore them (yes, this embarrasses me to admit... but I'm a busy woman & there are many more annoying things going on around my house than a few moths). It wasn't until my son found them in the cereal bag a couple of weeks ago that I figured it out. They weren't wool moths. No. They were only pantry moths. Whew!

That's an easy fix. I just had to throw out all the open boxes and bags of food, clean out the cupboards, and then not put food back in them (ie. shop) for a couple of weeks to make sure they were gone. Then in one trip to the grocery store, I was easily able to restock the pantry and pick lots of plastic storage bags for assurance. Heck, groceries are even a budgeted expense! Can't get much easier than that!

Geesh! Can you imagine all the work it would've been if I had had to replace all my stash? Yikes!

BTW - I'm enjoying your comments. I must admit that I need discipline in ALL of the areas you've mentioned so far.

Now I must go complete the armholes on the back of my Minimalist Cardigan so I can start laundry sometime today. (I would like to take a moment though to commend myself on my discipline in sticking with the back of a moss-stitch sweater for a whole weekend... after all, laundry will never really be done... but, if I keep at it, my sweater will.)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Minimal Knitting... and a Contest!

Putting aside the endless debates that take place in my mind over what to knit, I stopped thinking and started knitting. I cast on for the Minimalist Cardigan from the fall Interweave with some Karabella Aurora 8 from my stash.

I'm not very faithful to repetitive patterns but this seems to be knitting up pretty quickly on size 7s so we'll see how it goes.

And this yarn cake here...

It's begging to become Monkeys. Screaming at me actually. But the needles I need are tied up in other socks so being the patient, disciplined woman I am, this lovely yarn must await the completion of the lacy socks currently on my size 0 circs... or until I break down and cast on with dpns... or by more size 0 circs. Yeah, I know, that's a tough one.

Speaking of discipline, in a rare bout of organizing this week, I discovered this...

Two copies, ordered at two different times, living in different parts of my house totally unaware of each other for who knows how long. I love the book. I remember reading it the first time I got it a few years ago. I think I started the second copy but it seemed somehow familiar to me (imagine that). The irony of the title of the book is not at all lost on me either.
So here's the deal... I'm having a contest (also known as a shameless attempt to generate comments). If you are interested in owning the newer unused copy of this book, you must leave a comment sharing the area of your life in which you need more discipline or self-control. Yes, I know that's a personal question but I want to get to know you better. Mine is most likely pretty obvious to anyone who has been to my blog more than once but I'll speak of it in the comments. Meanwhile, here's a hint...

My most recent Loopy Ewe purchase which I have been too embarassed about to even post. Dream in Color in "Cool Fire" and ShiBui Knits in "Sand". They are both simply to drool for!
In a final twist of irony, a "What Book are You" quiz I just found over at Uberstrickenfrau's blog revealed the following...

You're Confessions!

by St. Augustine

You're a sinner, you're a saint, you do not feel ashamed. Well, you
might feel a little ashamed of your past, but it did such a good job of teaching you
what not to do. Now you've become a devout Christian and have spent more time
ruminating on the world to come rather than worldly pleasures. Your realizations and
ability to change will bring reverence upon you despite your hedonistic transgressions.
Florida will honor you most in the end.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I can't totally argue with the gist of it, but what are these hedonistic transgressions of which it speaks? Hmmm....

Anyway, back to the contest... leave a comment and next Wednesday, Sept 12th, I will do a random drawing for the winner. And if you aren't interested in the contest, at least let me know what book you are!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Knitting Only!

It has come to my attention that life is totally interfering with my knitting. Ever since my collapse/epiphany last month regarding the reality of facing a list of wips and want-tos that exceeds my expected lifespan, I've been in a knitter's slump. Afraid to cast-on, being overly selective, analyzing every decision, trying to finish one project before starting another, and so on. And, as I have often expected, a disruption in my knitting has upset the sanity of my whole daily life.

Here are the promised pics from Veronik Avery's new book Knitting Classic Style. To begin with I have to tell you how much I enjoy this book. The designs are all truly based on classic trends with history of the fashions interspersed throughout. (I must say I'm especially grateful to those bold radicals of the 1880s who insisted that "women should have to wear no more than seven pounds of underwear".)

Anyhoo, I'll start with the cover sweater which I adore.

I can totally imagine the following sweater knit up with the DB Cashmerino Aran in my stash (although the suggested yarn, Reynolds Oddyssey has been on my covet list forever!). So casual and snuggly...

I thought this had a nice classic look for any woman's style.

It is not lacking in head to toe accessories either. I must knit this scarf... it calls for Mountain Colors Mountain Goat but I'm thinking that it would be amazing in something like Dream in Color Smooshy.

Here's a couple that aren't necessarily my style, but still tempting...

This is just a small sampling of the variety of patterns I enjoyed throughout this book.

But I must say, the one that has completely captivated me... enchanted me to the point that our first cool evening had me immediately imagining myself wrapped in it... is this Alpaca Silk Shawl...

You know what comes to mind when I look at this? My unfinished Clementine Shawlette... and the 3 hanks of Blue Sky Alpaca Silk contained therein. Thoughts of frogging and repossessing said yarn... and not just out of laziness or distaste or for some ordinary alternative purpose... but for a higher calling altogether. The Shawl.

Whatever I decide, I will make that decision based solely in the knitting part of my brain without any unnecessary thoughts regarding the practicality or luxury of such a garment.

More knitting, less thinking. Let the balance in my universe be restored!

With that attitude, I cast on this afternoon for something that has been on my mind for a while... just because I want to... because my sanity is worth it.